CUNY sees Promising Results in Mentoring Program

Jahlil Rush, Production Assistant

CUNY’s mentoring program, “College and Career Bridge for All”, was shown to increase enrollment in colleges from New York City Public Schools students, according to a February 2023 study.

According to the released study from CUNY’s Office of Applied Research, Evaluation and Data Analytics, the research included more than 53,000 students from across New York City.

The program allows college students to serve as mentors to high school seniors through many forms of communications, including social media and text.

In 2020, the data showed that students from diverse backgrounds, including Black, Hispanics and low-income neighborhoods, received help from the program.

CUNY Chancellor Félix Matos Rodríguez emphasized the importance of receiving aid in the college transiting process in a statement.

“This study highlights how much of a difference it makes for NYC Public School seniors to get help with college admissions, enrollment and financial aid, particularly when the help comes from peer mentors: college students who have gone through the process themselves not too long ago,”  Rodríguez said. “We are extremely proud of College and Career Bridge for All, one of the many fruitful and ambitious initiatives we have launched with NYC Public Schools. We need these types of creative collaborations to best serve our students, especially our most vulnerable.”

NYC Schools Chancellor David Banks released a statement praising the work that the CUNY program has accomplished for those who, systemically, would not have the resources.

“We’re seeing increases in college enrollment from participants in this program, including Black students, Hispanic students and students who have lived in low-income neighborhoods,” Banks said. “I look forward to continuing to work with our partners in higher education and others around the city in achieving our mission to increase the number of students on a pathway to a rewarding career and long-term economic security.”

Students told CUNY about their experience in the program. Katherine Angeles, a Lehman College Senior and current supervisor for the program, told CUNY that the program helped her in a time of need.

“College & Career Bridge for All was my very first job during a time where everything was so uncertain and being able to help students made me feel so much better during such a hectic time,” Angeles said. “Being a bridge coach has inspired me to continue to help others in the future and I am currently looking into becoming a guidance counselor.”

In 2017, “College and Career Bridge for All” only had a total of 6300 graduates from 46 public high schools shortly before the program expanded by 25 percent in 2018 and 2019.

In 2020, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the CUNY program expanded by 350 percent. The expansion was the result of an $877,000-grant provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies and a $250,000 grant from The Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation.

“College and Career Bridge for All” launched in 2016 and is available to all New York City high school seniors.